Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Movember!

Movember is something the guys from the touch rugby team have been working on all month. Doing what, you may ask? Well, growing some sleazy 'staches of course. Duh. Mo-vember. Don't worry, dear readers, it isn't all for nothing (like their girlfriends would be this supportive if they were growing moustaches for no reason)- they are growing 'stashes to rasie money for men's health issues! Hurrah! We all know that men don't necessarily like to go to the doctor to discuss a senstive health issue, but I am proud to say that Movember has been getting a lot of support from the expat community here in Korea and all around the world!

Here's the official website:

And now that you know about Movember, you should, like, give them some money before November is over. This weekend. Do it for your Dads and brothers and boyfriends and husbands and friends. Anyway, even though it's a good cause I, for one, will be happy to have a clean shaven boyfriend once again on Monday. It has; however, been fun to watch our boys' progress this month.

Readers: who do you think won the 'stache contest?

What can I say. The girls are in FULL support of the guys. We went all out.

Here's Adian's...

Luke has a steady hand with a razor...

Paul, looking the creepiest he's looked in at least three months...

Pat with his handlebars (you can only really see his 'stache up close- he's just too blonde).

And, of course, Jeremy. Who can pull off facial hair because he's from South Africa. There, I said it.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Halloween Number Two at Maple Bear!

The thing about Hagwons is that you never celebrate a holiday the same way twice. In a way, this is good because you're constantly experiencing new things and you aren't getting bored with the same old after renewing your contract. On the other hand, it's daunting because you never know how this new celebration is going to work out- will the kids have fun? Will I be stressed to the max? Will it be organized or the complete opposite? These are a few of the questions you have to ask yourself as you try to prepare the kiddies (but mostly yourself) for the insanity that comes along with Halloween's sugary highs and lowest of lows.

This time around it worked out. We had fun, the kids had fun, we carved pumpkins (the kids were a bit bored watching and didn't want to dirty their hands to help get the gook out), we watched Halloween cartoons and talked about Halloween traditions. Like last year, we took our classes trick or treating to the other classrooms and this year the kids were lucky enough to have "Kung Fu Panda" as their teacher so we also had fun doing the Kung Fu Panda dance. Overall, I would say it was pretty alright. Maybe a 6 out of 10. Here, as always, are some pics!

To the left, Calvin. He was my student last year. To the right, Robin. He is my student this year. Brothers. Robin reeeeally loves his big brother. Calvin was a thoughtful, quiet student. Robin is a basket case. So alike in looks and so different in demeanor!

Here they are, spreading the love in front of the camera. What a bunch of hams (I love these children).

Maybe you don't know this about me, but aside from teaching two kindergarten classes I also teach elementary math in English. These are my elementary students (graduates of Maple Bear from last year, natch- they always keep coming back...). They made their treat bags out of pillow cases. Soooo old school.

Here is Sue, who was, like, one of my first ever students. And now she's still my student. Gad love her.

Miss Kerri was a penguin. Nice try, Ker, but we all know who the real crowd pleaser was that day...

Kung Fu Panda, baby! Here we are with our kiddies while they were waiting to get into the haunted house.

Greeting the trick or treaters...

Did you know that pandas (and apparently, panda costumes) only have four fingers? That means I had to squeeze two fingers in the same finger hole. That also means that I was giving peace signs all day with the wrong two fingers, which kinda cramped the muscles after awhile. The things I do for my students.

Here's Miss Charlene the cool witch and my favourite of her kids- Brian. Every time he sees me in the hallway he shouts "HI MISS KERRI!". I don't have the heart to correct him...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Halloween In Yeongtong (Trick or Drink?)

My fellow expat friends and I love Halloween. Like, a lot. So regardless of living in a country that neither celebrates nor even recognises (aside from Hagwons) the spooky holiday, we still managed to have a great night out in Yeongtong!

As we couldn't partake in the traditional trick or treating associated with Halloween in our home countries, we got a little creative and some intelligent person came up with the idea of a "Trick or Drink" in which the main idea would be to dress up in random costumes and go from convenience store to convenience store around Yeongtong where we would freak out the store clerk and have a beer or some soju outside.

Needless to say, the night went off without a hitch. We gathered in the park at around 10 PM and made our way to the nearest Family Mart (for those who live in countries where it is illegal to consume alcohol in the street I should let you know that this is not the case in Korea) and from there made our way all around Yeongtong to the various convenience stores- Buy The Way, Family Mart, GS 25, and so on- where we got high fives, strange looks, shouts of adoration and in general, a LOT of attention from the Koreans who happened upon us.

When we tired of the trick or drinking (or at least the tricking part) we moved en masse toward Now Bar, where many of us lost memory of the rest of the night. It was terrifying! Oh, and I apparently won a costume prize. Good ol' Mrs. C knows what every Panda needs- a black, lacy thong to go with my black and white panda fur. Thanks, Mrs. C!

Grace, Lindsay and Rachael- aka, Rock, Paper and Scissors. Don't worry, this is just the beginning of the amazing costumes...

Happy Panda! This suit was hot and stuffy and it smelled like feet, but it was a hit.

The man I came second to in the costume contest. When the Hulk won, he ripped off his shirt. The crowd gasped.

MJ, aka Jeremy Ruiters of South Africa. He's got some mad skills.

Superman, Sheep (?), MJ and Aidan the Mummy (all in character, of course).

Amy Winehouse, booze in hand. I wouldn't expect anything less.

Koreans kept stopping me in the street for pictures. Here are some of the many drunk business men we consorted with that night!

Paul was a ghost. Boooooo.

Luke used wire to hold his tie up in the air like that. He's such a creative soul.

Aidan enjoyed frightening the locals.

Michelle the hippy, Veronica the Soju bottle, and Kim the GoGo Dancer.

Jesse was an unhappy, deflated won. The exchange rate is not so good at the moment.

Here's the whole crew inside our first convenience store of the night. The clerk was pretty great about all of us parading around his store

Outside our second stop. The won is so low the pandas are dying!

Best friends: pandas and soju.

Betcha didn't know pandas can dance. I would show the video but it is too embarrassing.

Last but not least: the risque love affair between Jesus and panda. They make a surprisingly good couple!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Think My School is Pretty Great? So Do I.

For all of the many people who email me asking about jobs at Maple Bear:
My school is hiring in March and they're going to start looking for people soon! If you're interested in a job here, email me and I'll help you out.

Monday, November 3, 2008

My 24th Birthday Celebration!

This year my birthday was a little low key. Dinner with friends, traipsing around Itaewon and partying in the streets of Hongdae. Actually, maybe low key isn't quite the word I'm looking for... maybe... scrumtralescent? My birthday was totally scrumtralescent. Enjoy the (at times, embarassing) photos:

Patrick and Kerri at Taco Amigo in Itaewon, where we had dinner. It was really yummy- chicken burrito, lightly flavoured with cilantro, black beans, nachos and rice on the side with plenty of freshly made guacamole and salsa. Oh, and one can't forget the frosty bottles of corona with a nice wedge of fresh lime... I can go on about the food here... you should all go to this joint.

Allison and Jeremy, avoiding my camera at all costs.

Birthday girl party hat; courtesy of Ms. Kerri Fletcher. New camera; courtesy of my wonderful boyfriend. Corona? Courtesy of Mexico. Life doesn't get much better than this.

After dinner we strolled around Itaewon for awhile, taking in all the scantily clad ladies, the overly drunk American soldiers, and one very cute German Shepard I ran into. You never know what you'll find in Itaewon!

On our way to Hooker Hill, where one can find a quality soju cocktail establishment. I believe Hooker Hill's name is self explanatory.

Polly's Kettle! This stuff will seriously get you wasted (not that I did that, Mom- it's just a possibility).

They serve you the soj' in taseful cut-up pop bottles. It tastes delicious- the liquor is undetectable. That's why it's so dangerous.

After some embarassing Noraebang we ran into some friends from Suwon on their way to Hongdae. What a surprise! We were also on our way to Hongdae! Someone had the bright idea of sharing a cab.

When we arrived in Hongdae, this is how I found my friend Tristan. Don't ask questions; just go with it.

Of course I still had my party hat on. It was on all night!

But after seeing Tristan's hat I felt inadequate (sorry Kerri; it was a lovely hat, really).

Tristan just looked so debonair! And this hat was so versatile.

See? Ice cream cone.

Riding a motorcycle.

Riding a bicycle? We're running out of ideas.

In the end, I threw my purse and Kerri's inadequate (but lovely!) party hat in the street...

and that's when I really started to celebrate. Then the bar owner who also happened to own the massive cone came outside and took it back where it belonged. Happy birthday, me.